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Year in Review: Facial Recognition Was in the Spotlight in 2018, Warts and All

Year in Review: Facial Recognition Was in the Spotlight in 2018, Warts and All

Facial recognition technology has had a big year, in good ways and bad. On the positive side, Apple signaled a more or less definitive switch to 3D facial recognition as the primary mechanism for user authentication on its flagship smartphones: Having made a big splash last year with its introduction of Face ID on the…

AI-Driven Facial Recognition Platform Scans Web for Missing Children

AI-Driven Facial Recognition Platform Scans Web for Missing Children

“A key component of the GMCNgine is Rekognition, Amazon’s controversial computer vision platform.” Facial recognition technology’s growing role in the fight against child exploitation could see a substantial expansion after the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children’s launch of a new AI-driven system this week. Called the GMCNgine, the system leverages machine learning and artificial…

Trueface CEO Outlines Ethical Guidelines for Facial Recognition

Trueface CEO Outlines Ethical Guidelines for Facial Recognition

At a time of heightened controversy around government use of facial recognition technology, Trueface is laying out its own ethical guidelines for ‘responsibly deployed facial recognition’. Writing in a Medium post, Trueface CEO Shaun Moore groups his firm’s ethos under three main headings. The first, and perhaps most important, is “Humanity First”, a reference to…

It’s Been a Rollercoaster Year – Take Stock with Our Annual Biometrics Survey

It’s Been a Rollercoaster Year – Take Stock with Our Annual Biometrics Survey

It has been another remarkable year for the biometrics industry, with a lot of activity across a wide range of sectors. Apple, which spearheaded the mobile biometrics revolution with its launch of Touch ID five years ago, went ahead and confirmed its shift to 3D facial recognition with the launch of three new iPhones featuring…

Amazon Exec Defends Sale of Facial Recognition to Police in Internal Meeting

Amazon Exec Defends Sale of Facial Recognition to Police in Internal Meeting

“After an ACLU report revealed that Amazon had been selling facial recognition technology to police earlier this year, an assortment of privacy rights activists, shareholders, and even Amazon employees publicly decried the practice and called on the company to stop. “ Amazon is showing no sign of backing off from its marketing and sales of…

Credit Unions Trial Amazon’s Alexa as a Customer Service Rep

Credit Unions Trial Amazon’s Alexa as a Customer Service Rep

Two Canadian credit unions are now testing a system that lets customers do their banking through Alexa, Amazon’s voice-based virtual assistant. The technology comes by way of Vancouver-based FinTech specialist Central 1, which developed it in collaboration with San Francisco design agency Point One Digital. Essentially, the idea is to make Alexa a customer service…

Amazon Defends Rekognition Against Critics

Amazon Defends Rekognition Against Critics

“Amazon offers the example of Rekognition technology being used to crack a sex trafficking case by identifying 20 victims and helping to send the perpetrator to prison…” Amazon is trying to put its own spin on its sale of facial recognition technology to police with a new case study put together by Marinus Analytics. It…

ACLU Uses Amazon’s Rekognition to Match Members of Congress with Mugshots

ACLU Uses Amazon’s Rekognition to Match Members of Congress with Mugshots

“…in responding the ACLU’s latest volley, a spokesperson emphasized that Rekognition is used to aid human review, and not to definitively link one facial image to another” The ACLU has turned Amazon’s facial recognition technology against the company itself in a damning new demonstration highlighting the technology’s flaws. The civil rights organization says that it…

Orlando Police to Proceed with Rekognition Testing

Orlando Police to Proceed with Rekognition Testing

“In its memo, the OPD said that the next trial would operate similarly to the first, in which seven police officers volunteered to have their faces scanned by the system.” The Orlando Police Department will continue to test facial recognition technology from Amazon despite the recent outcry from privacy and civil rights advocates over the…

IBM Developing Huge Public Dataset to Help Eliminate Bias from Facial Recognition

IBM Developing Huge Public Dataset to Help Eliminate Bias from Facial Recognition

“IBM is going to release a dataset of 36,000 facial images that will be equally distributed across a range of ethnicities, genders, and ages.” As the competition to develop sophisticated facial recognition systems continues to escalate, IBM is preparing to make a decidedly counterintuitive move, with plans to release a huge dataset for training facial…

Biometric Butterflye Migrates to Canada

Biometric Butterflye Migrates to Canada

Biometric surveillance technology for the home continues to spread, with the Ooma Butterflye having landed in Canada. It’s a compact video surveillance camera that can be placed anywhere in a given home, and operates over wifi. While there are other smart home cameras on the market, the Butterflye distinguishes itself with its use of facial…

‘Our Company Should Not Be In the Surveillance Business’: Amazon Employees

‘Our Company Should Not Be In the Surveillance Business’: Amazon Employees

Amazon’s own employees have now joined the chorus of voices calling for the company to halt its sale of biometric surveillance technology to law enforcement and other government agencies. Their demand has surfaced in an open letter to Jeff Bezos with an undisclosed number of signatories. The letter has arrived immediately after another open letter,…

ACLU Criticism of Amazon Facial Recognition Pays Dividends

ACLU Criticism of Amazon Facial Recognition Pays Dividends

Just a month after the ACLU made Amazon’s sale of facial recognition technology to government authorities a matter of public debate, a group of prominent Amazon shareholders are calling on the company to halt such business activities, at least until the proper oversight is put in place. The controversy concerns Rekognition, Amazon’s machine vision solution,…

ACLU’s Attack on Amazon Surveillance Tech Misses Bigger Issue: ITIF

ACLU’s Attack on Amazon Surveillance Tech Misses Bigger Issue: ITIF

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is pushing back against the ACLU’s efforts to get Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition technology to government organizations. The outcry began about a week ago, when the ACLU published information concerning multiple police agencies’ use of Rekognition, a machine learning, computer vision system that runs on Amazon…

OPD, Amazon Play Down Rekognition Use After ACLU Report

OPD, Amazon Play Down Rekognition Use After ACLU Report

“Responding to the report, the Orlando Police Department’s chief, John Mina, held a press conference at which he insisted that his department was only testing the technology, with seven officers having volunteered to have their faces tracked through OPD cameras.” Amazon and the Orlando Police Department are playing down the use of facial recognition technology…

ACLU Urges Amazon to Stop Selling Surveillance Tech to Gov’t

ACLU Urges Amazon to Stop Selling Surveillance Tech to Gov’t

The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition system to government authorities, warning that it threatens privacy and civil liberties and empowers a growing surveillance state. The system, Rekognition, was first announced toward the end of 2016, and is available through Amazon Web Services. Based on machine learning technology,…

FIDO Alliance Welcomes Amazon to Board of Directors

FIDO Alliance Welcomes Amazon to Board of Directors

“We look forward to the valuable inputs from Amazon as the FIDO Alliance continues to work towards our goal to provide open standards that will help enable the seamless and secure ecommerce experiences that consumers are coming to expect and demand.” – Brett McDowell, Executive Director, FIDO Alliance One of the biggest companies in the world has joined…

Alexa for Business Brings Voice-Controls to the Workplace

Alexa for Business Brings Voice-Controls to the Workplace

“Importantly, the solution is already compatible with a number of enterprise platforms that are already popular in numerous workplaces…” Amazon is trying to bring its flagship voice-based AI platform into the workplace with Alexa for Business. Alexa for Business can do the usual tasks like scheduling meetings, reordering office supplies, and starting conference calls. But…

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